A church that Beverly and I recently attended provides local youth an opportunity to sit around campfires singing kumbaya and other youthful but religious songs enjoyed in the outdoors. They worship at camp. How refreshing is that?
This summer alone 55 youth attended a resident church camp at the Candy Run Weslyn Tabernacle. Driving from Minford to Lucasville on the old highway I have always called the Lucasville Minford Road, you pass this very nice church and it’s campground complete with cabins and such making for a wonderful place for youth to spend at camp and in fun but sincere worship.
The energy of this church Pastor is not defined by her age. At 95 (still not sure I heard that right, lol as they say) During the service Grace said she has been a Christian for 82 years. Pastor Grace Bloomfield was all over that church enthusiastically sharing the gospel and directing the very interesting discussion.
Grace has been officiating as Pastor since November and the church will eventually fill the Pastoral seat. In the meantime, she is handling that role quite well. I have said this before and have ways meant it, but if our mission didn’t call us to go forward in our visits we would be right back here next week!
Sixty-two years ago this church existed on the hillside across from the church’s current location. The church and its residing residential youth camp cover 15 acres. That is a pretty big spread for any church! The current church was built in this location was sometime in the early nineteen sixties.
We actually walked in as Sunday School was still going on and I may not have got all the names correct but I think it was a sister Janice speaking about that time. She said something like this, “friends, let me tell you…. 49 years with the Lord, I have had to learn, had questions and had to find for myself, holding fast to the Lord”! I liked her comment to mind the light, walk in the light and God will help us.
Several beautiful hymns sung this morning included, “Covered by the blood, The Hallelujah side” and several others.
From the pulpit, I was surprised to hear them say Brother Randy as they looked in my direction. Being surprised I looked at Beverly and said how do they know me? Came to find out Brother Randy was sitting just in front of me. Though he is a member of this church I found he would be delivering today’s message. Pastor Grace would be speaking tonight!
One special appreciated prayer went as such, Let us pray for Brother Randy, our guests and special songs. Remember our children and our families. Have your divine way, Father. Following, Grace sang the familiar song “God answers prayer”!
There was plenty of talent in the group. Special singing was shared by one group consisting of Mike Ramey, Elissa Ramey and Randy Hurst. Another was Kelly Rose, Ann Damron, Barbara Baker and Carol Baker. With deep regrets, I didn’t get the name of the fine piano player. As Beverly always says, the Lord knows her name! Another name I heard frequently (Duncan) who I assume was a Deacon greeted us several times assisting in the service as well. I hate I didn’t get his last name either! Beverly’s thought goes here as well!
At one point I couldn’t help but smile when Grace said, “this church is no place for gloomy Christian’s to reside”. I have to agree! She had added that she is so glad that we come to the Lord each week. He can get us through anything. We can be free!
Saying she knew that several in the church are in need of prayer she requested those with needs to respond and some of course did. Then there was a lovely prayer.
Brother Randy Hurst came forward with his message and didn’t waste time in saying that anyone wishing to come to the altar for prayer could do so at any time during the service.
Randy spoke of the Apostle John (The Revelator), telling how the Roman Empire wished him to stop his preaching and teaching. He spoke of how John was cast to the isle of Patmos. It reminded me as to the time we flew over the aisle of Patmos with our son who at the time was fighting cancer and he had said he would like to walk where Jesus walked. So that sky picture of Patmos was deeply embedded in my mind. While on Patmos, the Lord brought to John the book of Revelation!
He said that it is sometimes difficult for older people to relate with youth and that we must be patient. In religion as well in many things, curb appeal is important. We must ask ourselves if we really know what sin is, how it affects us as all.
He pointed out that the bible says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:” Many overlook the next verse which continues, “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”.
Randy shared an emotional story about his many years of marriage with his wife Brenda. Early on in their relationship, he was diverted for a short while. Realizing his love for her he came back to find she had enlisted in the US Airforce Medical Corps and he had recently enlisted in the guard. So now as they had reaffirmed their relationship it became quite complicated. After they were married they had only about 14 days to share their newlywed marriage in a new home they had purchased together. Brenda had to return to her military service in San Antonio Texas.
He waved at his wife as she left on her plane, tears substantiating his sincerity. He explained that for the next seven months that was our life. A very lovely story about a young couple affected by an early decision on his part. Also a lovely story as to how relationships can blossom and bloom after the rain.
He asked if all remember how they loved the Lord in their early experience of being saved. We become mechanical forgetting our early experience. He asked the congregation if they love the Lord as much now as they did then? Do you love him as much today? Do you still love him? Do you desire that others find Jesus? He said to remember the compassion when you first got saved. He asked, how is your love this morning?
In closing words, Pastor Grace said, “let God be first in our lives. Let the Lord help us in all things, and I am sure that the church lights from Heaven have been turned on in our lives. A brother Carl led the church in a closing prayer.
Why not plan a visit to the Candy Run Wesleyan Tabernacle. Tell them the Ruckers sent ya!
As believers, let us share the Good News! Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world! Each one … reach one! See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.